Will you still love me?

Zuppardi, Sam. Jack’s Worry. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2016.
Jack loves playing the trumpet. And he’s looking forward to his first concert. But then the worries start. What if he makes a mistake? What if his mother won’t love him anymore? A jaunty font and zany full-page illustrations help make this a picture book sure to reassure worriers of all ages.

More stories about musicians HERE

Note to parents: 

How can young adults believe that they have to cheat to please their parents?

But they do.
By far, the most common reason why middle school students cheat, I’ve noticed, is that they want to live up to their parents’ expectations. Not because they particularly care about getting high grades for themselves. Rarely because they want to impress their peers. They cheat because they can’t get high grades honestly and are afraid their parents will be disappointed. Once they are reassured that their parents will still love them…
“You will still love him even if he doesn’t get a high mark, right?” I ask the parent. In front of the child.
“Of course,” comes the puzzled reply.
“Well, this would be a good time to tell him.”
… once people are reassured that they are loved, everything changes. They relax. Smile. And start to enjoy learning. Everything changes.

Why is this picture book appropriate for readers of all ages?

It’s funny. And we all can use a laugh in life.

It speaks to the heart. And we all need reassurance once in a while.

 

What next?

Merveille, David. Hello, Mr. Hulot. New York: NorthSouth Books, 2013.
Mr. Hulot is a French character played by Jacques Tati, an actor and filmmaker. In this almost wordless picture book, David Merveille has created comic-strip scenes useful for learning how to infer meaning, make predictions, and analyze humour. But mostly, the pictures are simply fun. They will surprise and delight viewers 8 years old and up.

More wordless books HERE

Becoming Real

Zagarenski, Pamela. Henry & Leo. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.
What makes us real? Lovers of The Velveteen Rabbit will appreciate this gentle story about Henry and his toy lion. Written and illustrated by a two-time Caldecott Honor winner, this picture book is a  wonderful read-aloud for young children and a conversation starter for older readers.

More picture books HERE.

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’ Margery Williams,  The Velveteen Rabbit

 

Remembering our vacation…

Perkins, Lynne Rae. Pictures from Our Vacation. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2007.
What joy! A girl recounts a summer trip with her parents and brother to the family farm in Canada where she meets all sorts of relatives. How  intriguing! The words in the story never mention Canada, but the large map showing the journey marks the destination north of Lake Ontario. The words in the story also never name the main character or her brother, so readers can easily imagine themselves and remember their own family trips. How wise!  The girl reflects – at the end of the story – that the photographs she took with her new camera can’t capture the most important parts of the journey: the stories she heard and the emotions she felt. Only her memories can really keep that vacation alive.
The design, the text, and the pen and ink and watercolour illustrations all work together to create a picture book for all ages.

More summer vacation stories HERE 

Lynne Rae Perkins’ website HERE

O Canada!

MacLeod, Elizabeth. Canada Year by Year. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2016.
Canada is 150 years old! This 96-page book – illustrated by Sydney Smith – celebrates with brief highlights of every year from 1867 to 2017. The invention of basketball in 1891. The invention of the snowmobile in 1922. The first superman comic in 1932. The discovery of oil in Alberta in 1947. Historical firsts, political events, and prominent people are all included in this book recommended for browsers 12 years old and up.

Amazon.ca 

Stories set in Canada HERE.

Sequoyah’s Syllabary

Some languages use alphabet letters to make written sounds.
Some languages use characters.
But did you know there is another brilliant system of writing?
It doesn’t use either alphabet letters or characters.
Instead, it has symbols that stand for syllables.
Over a billion people in the world speak languages that use syllable symbols for writing.

This picture book tells the story of one of those languages.

Cherokee uses 84 symbols or signs to make all the sounds of the language.
This writing system was invented by a man called Sequoyah who lived over 150 years ago.
Full-page colour illustrations and a Cherokee translation by Anna Sixkiller Huckaby accompany this compelling true story told by award-winning James Rumford.
Highly recommended for readers of all ages.

Rumford, James. Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2004.

More books about indigenous people HERE.

More biographies HERE.